Symptoms of whiplash injuries often show up long after your car has been repaired.
You’re waiting at a stoplight. The sound of screeching tyres is followed by the harsh sound of metal hitting metal. Your car is suddenly being pushed forward!
You’re being rear-ended!
In a split second, your body is pushed against your seat. Your head, isolated by your neck, delays its reaction.
Then, your body changes directions, moving forward to the limits of your seatbelt. (You are wearing your seatbelt aren't you!?!) Then your head is snapped backwards. But you can’t stop it.
Even a minor fender bender can produce a whiplash injury. It may take a day or two, or sometimes months for symptoms to appear. Now what?
Get to our office for an examination! Pain pills won’t heal inflamed tendons and ligaments. Muscle relaxers won’t heal torn muscles. A cervical collar won’t restore a graceful forward spinal curve.
Specific chiropractic spinal adjustments, because they can help restore proper motion and position of individual spinal bones, can better assure proper healing.
The longer you wait, the more unseen damage there is and the longer it takes to recover. Drugs may reduce the pain, but it simply delays more effective chiropractic care.
Whiplash Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do I have pain in my arms and hands?
Because the nerves to the arms and hands exit the spine through the injured area of the neck, numbness and tingling are common. Even lower back pain can result directly from the trauma, or as a reaction to the loss of proper spinal curves.
Why did my headaches start more than a week after my accident?
Whether you’ve been in an accident, stressed at work, or over-exerted yourself in the garden, your body is constantly adapting to the environment. When your capacity to adapt is exhausted, symptoms can appear. This can take days, weeks, months or years to occur.
Why do minor collisions cause so much trauma to the spine?
Without getting into the laws of physics, the simple explanation is that in a more forceful automobile accident, the car itself absorbs much of the energy. In the more common parking lot “fender benders”, the energy is more directly transferred to the driver and passengers.
Can I prevent a whiplash injury?
Since car accidents are the major cause of whiplash injuries, defensive driving skills can help. Be sure your taillights and turn signals are properly working. Allow enough stopping distance in front of you. When you slow down or stop, always check your rear view mirror to see if the driver behind you is paying attention.
Why is it that my car has little to no damage, yet I am in pain and miserable?
Despite popular belief, there is no correlation between the amount of vehicle damage versus the amount of human injury in a motor vehicle collision. Many, many variables come into play in a crash, and ultimately devastating human injury, even death, can occur in collisions with little or no outward signs of damage to the vehicle. Conversely, there are times when massive damage can occur to the car, yet the human walks away with minimal to no injury. Think about an Indy car crash where the vehicle is practically destroyed, yet the driver’s cage remains intact in the frame of the car, and the driver unbuckles their safety belts and walks away from a horrific scene. Although it is human nature to believe that a car with little to no damage means the human(s) inside cannot possibly be injured, this simply is not true. Your best bet is to get a chiropractic spinal check-up as soon as possible because early care offers the best opportunity for optimal healing and recovery.
How come some people are more hurt than others when several people are in the same car, in the same crash?
First of all, because of human variability. Thankfully, we are all different! Think of the things that set us apart…age, height, weight, body type, state of health, prior traumas, etc, etc. All of these variables make each person’s risk of injury different. Also, each person is seated in a different place in the vehicle, in a different seat…that is another set of variables, among many others. It is not possible to accurately predict who may be injured, or how much they may be injured in a given crash. That is why we evaluate and examine each patient individually.
Are all people that are in car crashes injured?
No. However, 3 million Americans report whiplash injuries from motor vehicle collisions each year.Of these, roughly half will suffer long-term pain or symptoms and 10% will become disabled each year. Since early evaluation and treatment offers the greatest chance for favorable recovery, it is wise to get a chiropractic spinal exam following a car crash.